What Are Beta-Amyloid Plaques and Tangles?

Question: What is beta-amyloid, and what are the plaques and tangles I hear about when doctors talk about Alzheimer's disease?

Answer: The diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is only confirmed after death, when doctors look at the brain under a microscope. There, we can see the buildup of abnormal substances. Inside nerve cells, we see strings that we call tangles.

In between nerve cells, there are clumps of material that we call beta-amyloid.

Amyloid is a very sticky substance and as it's released from nerve cells it clumps together to form these plaques.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7383987. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7383987. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7383987. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7383987. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7383987. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7383987.
null
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: A home damaged by a landslide Friday, April 18, 2014 in Jackson, Wyo. is shown in this aerial image provided by Tributary Environmental.
Tributary Environmental/AP Photo
null
Danny Martindale/Getty Images
PHOTO: Woman who received lab-grown vagina says she now has normal life.
Metropolitan Autonomous University and Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine